December 12, 2015
I will be attending the celebration service for the last of my mother’s siblings this week. It is a reminder that in the midst of life people are moving on into eternity. I so enjoy thinking about heaven. Many avoid these thoughts, but I really like them. I also enjoy reading stories of people visiting heaven. I consider them, but I do not base my doctrinal beliefs upon their experiences. I enjoy them while keeping the Word of God as my foundation. Experiences vary from person to person, but the Word of God stands firm and true for everyone!
Luke 16:19-31 tells us about the parable of a “certain” rich man and a poor beggar, Lazarus, both who died. Lazarus went into the bosom of Abraham while the rich man when into hell. Much can be gleaned from this story, and I want to share some of my thoughts about it with you. Point one is that the story is about specific men and what happened to them. Point two is that they both remembered who they had been while on the earth. Point three is that they took their earthly attitudes and beliefs with them to the other side. Point four is that there is nothing they can now do to change their destination. Point five is that though they know the reality of heaven and hell they cannot share this knowledge with those still alive. I believe this parable is included in the gospel because it is a reminder to us today. Our lives today determine our lives in eternity. If we are to help others find life, we must do it in the here and now. There is a hell to miss and a heaven to gain. We are all moving towards that day when we step out of the life we know and into the life that has been prepared for us. It is up to each of us to make sure we have done what we are supposed to do and that we have shared the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with any and all!
My challenge to you this month is to check your attitudes and beliefs to make sure they line up with the Bible. Then find someone to tell about Jesus, not that it is your last chance to speak, but it may be their last chance to hear. Share just a little of how your life is better because you know Him. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND MAY THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART BE YOURS IN THE NEW YEAR!
November 14, 2015
I was out on the town in Atlanta when we heard the news of the attacks in Paris. In the midst of living life I was reminded that life is always precious and that evil is always present. As the news grew worse, I had to do myself, what my last letter said—I had to take hold of my mind, my thoughts, and I had to reach into my heart to find my trust in the Lord. He is my go-to, my very anchor, my security. It is in Him that I lean and trust, and it is from Him that I receive my peace!
The scriptures tell us in Matthew 24 that we must be prepared for tumultuous times in the last of the last days. We are seeing things we never thought of, much less thought to see. We are hearing more and more of the beheading and crucifixion of Christians. In truth, we must prepare for times as we have never dreamed or experienced. The days of being lazy Christians are over if we are to survive the coming days. Our greatest protection that has been given to us is the name of Jesus and the blood of Jesus! Number one—call on the name of Jesus! There is power in this name and in this name only. Number two—plead the blood of Jesus over and around you and yours! It is this blood that defeated our enemy. Number three—stand on what Jesus has done and not on what you have done! The enemy tries to keep your eyes on you when we are told to keep our eyes on the work of Jesus. It is not a time in which we daily rise without putting on the armor of God that has been provided to us, Ephesians 6. It is not a time in which we move about without Holy Ghost input, John 14:26. It is not a time in which we forget our enemy is seeking to steal, kill and destroy us, John 10:10. As the world grows darker, we Christians are to grow brighter. There is coming a harvest of salvation as we have never seen before. We are to prepare for it as well. We will make it through, and we will finish our course strong!
My challenge to you this month is to look continue to build yourself up on your most holy faith. Make daily deposits of God’s word into your spirit. Spend quiet time listening to what Holy Ghost is saying to you. Be vigilant to identify the enemy in those he tries to use against you. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
October 26, 2015
I have had a wonderful birthday month! October is one of my favorites with fall flowers blooming, the weather cooling, and leaves turning beautiful colors. I am enjoying my life of 68 years, and I am looking forward to discovering what the coming year will bring. This month I have had a day at the pumpkin patch with my grandchildren, a night at the symphony with my husband, a weekend retreat with women from my church, a night of celebration with women from a local transition home, a political meeting for a local initiative, and a day on the rec yard with federal inmates. All this in addition to my usual 19 prison services—not complaining, just catching you up with my life these days!
I awoke recently to these words from God—There is a light in Goshen! Exodus 10:23, They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. The children of Israel were living in the midst of captivity, but God kept them from the evil that was coming upon their captors. They had light in the midst of darkness. Today news reports are getting worse and worse. There seems to be no respect for the elderly, the disabled, or the young. In our age of technology we should have more truth revealed, but it seems only more deception occurs. For Christians who follow closely to the Lord, there is light, there is protection, there is peace in the midst of evil! Isaiah 26:3,You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You. God will take care of us in difficult times, but we have a responsibility also. First, we are to trust God. Trust comes out of the heart, it’s a knowing based on our experiences. Most of us can recall time after time when God has protected us and been faithful to us. Second, we are to keep our minds fixed on Him which can take a determined effort. We have to be careful what we let enter into our minds. If I feel myself getting agitated in any area, I first check my thinking to see where my thoughts are. Then, I reel them back in, and put my thoughts upon God. When I do these two things, I experience the perfect peace of God!
My challenge to you this month is to carry Isaiah 26:3 with you. Meditate on how faithful God has been to you, roll it around in your mind, and let it fall down into your heart to produce trust. Keep your mind on Him. Fix your thoughts and trust Him – then He will keep you in perfect peace! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
September 3, 2015
I attended my 50th high school reunion this past weekend. It was great seeing some of the folks that I grew up with, hearing about their lives, and dancing the night away—proving once again that you can have fun without alcohol or drugs! After 50 years the barriers that were up during our high school years have fallen away, and we were glad to be together once again. In all my reminiscing I asked myself this question– if I were to never see these folks again, what would be my last comments to them? And it has made me also think—if this were my last letter, what would be my last words to you? So, here are my words whether they are the last ones or not.
I love you! I pray for you and your spiritual welfare. I believe you are good with God so I only remind you of some things you are to consider for yourself. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that you must be born again. This is the most important decision we each make in our lives. But that is not the end. We move on to Romans 12:1-2 that tells us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, to stop looking like the world, and to renew our minds. These three things help us move from our old life to the new life God has for each of us. This new life does not come to us naturally, only supernaturally. It is with the help of Holy Ghost and the word of God that we deposit in our hearts that we are able to step into the supernatural to live as God has always meant for us to live. Our enemy is always reminding us of our sins and our failures so we have to remind him that our sins and our failures are under the blood of Jesus. God is not remembering them so we should not remember them either. We are to remember 1 John 1:9 that we are not only forgiven, but we are cleansed from all the enemy tried to put on us.
My challenge to you this month is to keep on keeping on! Keep the attitude of finishing this life strong! Don’t let trials, temptations and troubles discourage you! Let us all join together, and complete this life as the godly people we are in the eyes of God. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
August 25, 2015
I have recently had two opportunities to open my mouth and just let it fly! I was physically tired one day when I was greatly disrespected, and the other time, I was agitated beyond my limits at the ignorance of people. Both times I had to reel myself in like my grandson did with the catfish he caught at the lake. In times like these I must always do what the Bible says to do.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. By your heart, I do not mean the organ beating in your chest. I mean the real you – the inner you. Many frustrations in life come just to keep you from settling down into the life God has called you to live. What we say during these times most often determines the outcome. Just as the eyes and ears give entrance to the heart, the mouth also gives entrance. If you fill your heart with radio, television, and magazines full of the world’s way of talking, you won’t have what is needed to bring you through these times of testing. Luke 6:45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. What is coming out of your mouth tells everyone what is in your heart. If all that you ever say is fear, doubt and unbelief, you are telling everyone what you are made of, what you are full of, what you have deposited within your heart. It is not enough to just read the Bible, you should also speak the words of the Bible. In speaking the word, you make deposits into your heart. These deposits are what will give you the victory in times of trouble, the right words to say at the right time, and the peace that truly will guide your life.
My challenge to you this month is to set a guard on your own heart by setting a guard on what you say. Do not allow trash from the world to fill you up and come out your mouth. Make sure that what you say has come from God. Change your words to His words and change your life. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
July 17, 2015
I have once again been reminded to think about what I am thinking about. With sexual perversion running rampant across our country, with muslim extremists beheading and crucifying Christians, with planned parenthood selling body parts from babies they have killed, there is much in the news that we need to know, but that we don’t need to be thinking about. Our minds are our greatest asset and should be guarded as such. What we think about we eventually talk about and end up doing.
Philippians 4:8 Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. KJV, or in the NLT, 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. This verse tells us what we are to be thinking about, what we are to be meditating on, what we are to be giving space in our mind to. It does not include the evil of our current day. When we dwell on the evil day we get discouraged, we get sad, we get full of evil coming from the evil. Ephesians 5:10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. NLT. If we are not to talk about what the ungodly are doing in secret, I do believe we are not to talk about what they are doing in the open.
My challenge to you this month is to think about what you are thinking about! Make your mind your servant. Fill your mental warehouse with the Word of God, meditate on specific scriptures that will unlock your faith in God! Do not provide space for evil by putting aside evil thinking! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
June 22, 2015
I was recently on my floatie in the gulf waters, just beyond where the waves begin. When I’m at the beach I like to hang out there, meditating and contemplating. Sometimes my son and grandchildren circle me, but I usually outlast them to be alone once again. This day was special to me because God took the opportunity to speak where I could hear. Since the publication of my first book I have been struggling with the format for my next one, I Believe In You 2. That day God dropped the format into me with clarity so now I am once again plowing away with my writing.
This week I have been meditating on Romans 5:3-4 in the New Living Translation – We can
rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. We want endurance when it comes to our physical bodies. We walk, run, exercise to build our bodies up for endurance to push ourselves toward personal goals such as marathons, hiking, climbing, etc. Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. You know I like to apply the natural which you can see to the spiritual which you cannot see. Problems or trials that come to us should be approached as resistance training in faith. Our faith muscles contract against the resistance our enemy brings in the form of problems and trials with our expectation being that our faith is increasing in strength, tone, mass and/or endurance. Using our faith on daily problems will build up endurance so when big things come we are not knocked down. If you will renew your mind to this revelation, you will stop asking, “why me?” and begin to rejoice saying, “oh yes, another opportunity to exercise my faith, build up my endurance, and give the enemy a whooping!”
My challenge to you this month is to on purpose exercise your faith daily so that when problems or trials come you will have endurance. Rejoice and begin your exercise with the end in mind—that you are developing endurance! You may need to start small, but that’s okay! Just start! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
May 17, 2015
I sometimes feel amazed that God has provided so much help for us and that we have not availed ourselves of that help. This month I want to talk to you about one such help—the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-20 talks to us about this armor. Please take a moment to read it in your Bible. We are to—put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. This is why many fall– they don’t put on their armor each morning! The next portion tells us that people are not our enemy—For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. We have one enemy, and he is the liar, the thief, the destroyer! We do not fight against people but against the forces that are driving them. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. We put on our armor and we stand, we do not lay down! Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth—to gird is to encircle so enclose yourself with God’s word which is truth. Get rid of your stinking thinking, and begin to think like God. Having put on the breastplate of righteousness – this breastplate identifies who you are, the one in right standing with God. You are in right standing, correct?!? And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace—peace, the peace Jesus gave you makes you ready to share the gospel with those who come across your path. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Your faith is the barrier between the devil and you. If your faith is weak, the darts can penetrate. If your faith is strong, the darts are stopped. Take the helmet of salvation, this helmet protects your mind, will and emotions from the thoughts of the enemy. Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Another reason to know God’s word. It is our sword, our only offensive weapon in the arsenal. If you don’t know the word, you can’t speak the word.
My challenge to you this month is to put on your armor each and every morning! Look past the natural into the supernatural, and stand in the authority of Jesus! Learn to use your faith like a shield to stop the enemy’s work in your life and to protect yourself from his destruction. Learn to speak God’s word as your weapon against the devil. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
April 13, 2015
I celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus with my family this month, all the while keeping my mind and my eyes on His next coming. It is easy to have a mindset of Jesus on the cross, because we all have to go to Him by way of the cross. We must remember, however, that He is no longer on that cross! He is risen! He is at the right hand of the Father! We know what Jesus did while He was here on earth, but what is He doing now? Let’s talk a bit about the present day ministry of Jesus.
- Jesus is our High Priest—Hebrews 9:11-12 tells us that Jesus became our High Priest by entering the holy of holies with His own blood for an “once and for all” sacrifice for our sin. Jesus died as our Passover Lamb, but He arose as our High Priest. His blood covers all your sin, sin you have already committed and sin you are yet to commit. Because of this sacrifice God never looks at you through your sin but through the blood of Jesus. 2. Jesus is our Advocate—1 John 1:9 through 2:2 assures us that when we confess our sins to God the Father that Jesus pleads our case for us. That is what an advocate does. When the enemy is dogging you about what you have done, you open your mouth and call on your Advocate and remind the enemy that you are forgiven and in right standing with God the Father! That is what being righteous means—right standing. 3. Jesus is our Mediator or Intercessor—John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and Acts 4:12 tells us that there is salvation in no one else and by no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. To come to God the Father we must come by Jesus, there is no other way. Read Hebrews 7:25 and Romans 8:34 also. Jesus never takes a vacation, He never steps aside from His duties, He ever lives to make intercession for us, not because we are worthy but because Jesus is worthy. 4. Jesus is our Shepherd—Psalm 23 is a wonderful psalm and should be read often as a reminder of His watch care over us. As our Shepherd He leads us, He provides for us, He protects us!
My challenge to you this month is to think about the Bible promises that we can receive when we go by way of the cross and then allow Jesus to provide His present day ministry as our High Priest, our Advocate, our Mediator, our Shepherd! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
March 29, 2015
I am keeping myself in a place of hope and expectation these days. It is easy to be discouraged and lose vision when you take a look around the world. So I keep my eyes on the words that God has given to me, and I know what He said, He will perform. We look through the Old Testament and see that God promised a Savior, but it was years before that Savior came. Many missed His first coming, because it did not line up with their thinking, their hope, their expectation. They were looking for a king, but He came as a sacrifice. We need to be careful that our thinking, our hope, our expectation, lines up with what the Bible actually says.
This holy week is a time when I walk out the days by reading the scriptures and thinking on what Jesus was experiencing. On Sunday He enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey, Mark 11:9, thus fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. He visits the temple later that day and sees all the buying and selling that was going on. Though it must have troubled Him, He remained quiet. On Monday He visits the temple where He overturns the tables of the money changers and casts out those that were selling doves. Each night He has returned to Bethany for rest. Tuesday we see Him continuing to teach in parables, and that evening we see Him celebrating the Passover meal with His disciples. He gave them new words, new thoughts about Passover which they did not understand, Mark 14:22-24. That night the scriptures take us into the Garden of Gethsemane where He was betrayed and the following hours of torment before His crucifixion Wednesday afternoon. While the coming days were the darkest ever, we can now look back and see that hope was on the horizon. Jesus overcame death when He arose, and now we can say with confidence—Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory though our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57!
My challenge to you this month is to think about what you are thinking. Don’t miss the second coming of our Lord because you are thinking wrong. Get your thoughts lined up with the scriptures and then let your hope, your expectation, arise! Begin to see how God sees, begin to talk like God talks, begin to act like you have a future and a hope! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
February 19, 2015
I have a heavy heart this month about the 21 Christian men who were beheaded for their faith. I have read their names, and I have looked at their faces on the internet. Each man has his own life, his own story, his own loved ones who have been left behind. I am assured that each man has made it to heaven and is rejoicing before the Lord. But it leaves me thinking about Christians as a whole.
For the most part none of us have been persecuted for our faith in Jehovah God. We have not experienced loss because we are Christians. We have not been asked to renounce Him or die. But times are changing whether we want to admit it or not, and there is coming a day when we could face these situations. I am personally asking you to get yourself physically still, mentally quiet, and have a personal conversation with God. Talk to Him about your relationship, your life, and your future with Him. You are the only one who can do this. No one else can know where you stand with God. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord we will be saved. If you have ever done this, then you belong to Him. This is only the first step in becoming the person you were always meant to be, but it is a step. Begin to know who you are in Him, begin to know what you are to do in this life, begin to know where you will spend eternity once time is over. Being a Christian is the most wonderful experience you can have, and it is the only way you will make it through in these last of the last days.
My challenge to you this month is to ask yourself some questions. How strong is your faith? Would you stand for Jesus to death? And if you would die for Him, will you live for Him? The answers will either assure you or hopefully move you to making a change! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
January 6, 2015
I am celebrating all month two anniversaries—on January 29 Joe and I will be married 50 years, and on the last Sunday of this month I will be in prison ministry 20 years! Both are milestones in my life, and both have been learning experiences, both in the spiritual realm and in the natural realm.
Joe and I married young, 21 and 17 respectively. By the time I was 22 we had three children, ages four and under. During this time I had been saved, and Joe had rededicated his life to God. And that is why we are still married after 50 years. God—who sustained us when we were going our own way and doing our own thing. When we had no love for each other, we loved God, and He was faithful to restore our love. When we grew apart, God prepared our way back to each other. When we were just tired of it all, God energized us to keep on keeping on. I can never thank Him enough for what He has done in our marriage. In 1995 we were returning home after church when God spoke a man’s name to me. I knew who he was, but I didn’t know him. When I found him, he was sitting on Georgia’s Death Row, and then began an education like no other. I learned about prison from the inside out. I believe this is one reason why I am different from many other prison ministers. I don’t always do everything right, but I use everything to learn to do better. I recently had one of the worse experiences ever within prison. The officers within the unit did not have control, and we were never able to gain control. However, I came home and did a review of what went right and what went wrong. When I go back into that unit, I will experience a different outcome! In celebrating these two anniversaries, I will actually be celebrating God and His faithfulness. For He was faithful even when I was not. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. If we will make ourselves available to Him, He will do the work within us!
My challenge to you this month is to remember all the times God has been faithful to you and then to write them down. You’re still breathing, aren’t you? That should be number one! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!